General Career Support


Job Search Tips

  1. Go into the Search with a Plan and Commit: Just like you block off time to exercise, you need to block off time to job search and network.  Treat this time as an important time block that cannot be moved.  

  2. Talk to people you know about your job search and intentionally make connections: Actively discuss your future career goals.  Many times, other friends and family may be able to connect you to other people who might be in a field you are interested in.  

  3. Attend Networking Events within Your Network: Our region is bustling with an array of networking opportunities for professionals to meet and discuss various career avenues.

  4. Practice Your Narrative: As a former educator, you have a vast array of skills that many other people do not have.  Make sure to sit down and craft a narrative that recognizes your strengths, while also demonstrating the transferable skills you have gained through your time at Teach For America and your other professional experiences. Try taking an hour out of your day and writing down your skills, and then connecting them to anecdote that demonstrates you excelling while using that skill.

  5. Be Reflective Following Interviews: If you are interviewing for a role and do not get it, really take the time to reflect back and try to identify areas for improvement.  What do you think you could do better next time? If you feel comfortable, you can always ask your contact for constructive feedback. 

resume basics

What is a Professional Summary?   
A professional summary is your opportunity to highlight your skills and strengths to emphasize how you are the best candidate for the role for which you are applying.  This is a three to five sentence section at the top of your resume, under your header.  It should be written in the 3rd person (do not use “I”).  It is important to note that this is NOT an objective.  In a professional summary you are presenting what you bring to the table, not what you are looking for from the company. 

Click here for some excellent examples of professional summaries!

Key Components of an Excellent Resume

  1. Easy to read with consistent formatting: Employers need to be able to quickly find information and understand the information.  Additionally, consistent formatting is imperative.  You don’t want a hiring manager to get caught up in awkward spacing or inconsistent alignment.
  2. Tailored to the specific position that you are applying for: Carefully consider the information that you are putting on your resume.

Click here for Teach For America's Resume Toolkit!


Resume Ready (Part 1 of Boosting Your Professional Brand)

Missed the Resume Ready Webinar?  You can access the 40 minute recording HERE.  Covered topics include Resume, Cover Letter, References, Interview Best Practices, and additional Career Resources


linkedin 101

LinkedIn is one of the most universal tools that companies utilize to find/recruit talent while also connecting and expanding professional networks (inside and outside of TFA).

Key Factors for an Outstanding LinkedIn Profiles

  1. Post a Professional Photo on Your Profile→ Make sure you are the only person in the photo as well.
  2. Make sure to utilize the space on your profile for quality items, and expand beyond what is in your basic resume. Take the time to highlight various accomplishments, awards, and projects that you have worked on.
  3. Create Quality Connections→ Search for professional connections that can help strengthen your network.  Make sure you are connecting with people who you have met.

Video Resources

  • Quick Tips for LinkedIn: This video has quick tips to make sure your profile is high quality and accessible to employers.  This video is less than 7 minutes long.
  • LinkedIn Profile 2017 Tips: This video goes through how to build your LinkedIn Page with the newest updates.  This video walks you through how to effectively utilize LinkedIn and create a solid profile.   This video is less than 14 minutes long.

LinkedIn Connections

  1. Connect with People that you know professionally or academically (click here for guidance on how to connect with your fellow alumni!).
  2. Endorse people for their skills and write Recommendations for current and former colleagues.
  3. Follow Companies that you are interested in, this way you will see updates for their career page.

Need individual help with your LinkedIn?

  1. Watch the videos above and create or update your LinkedIn Page.
  2. Connect with Angela Baker on LinkedIn.
  3. Request to Join our Chicago-Northwest Indiana Alumni Group.
  4. Email Angela Baker directly to schedule a time to review your LinkedIn,  

Sign Up for a 15-Minute Career Support Session

Have a quick resume, LinkedIn, or career question? Sign up for one of these 15 minute slots to touch base with Angela Baker, Director, Alumni Career Support, during her office hours. These will be held every Wednesday from 5:30-9pm. Come prepared with questions and feel free to email Angela ahead of time at


wix 101

Wix is a free website that allows you to create an outstanding and easy to use online portfolio.  This site allows you to showcase work product examples, photos of events, and have a link to your references with letters attached.  Please click here to create your own Wix!

Need help? Contact Angela Baker.  She can help you craft a high quality Wix Page that will help you present your best work to your future employer!

Teach For America National Resources

Our National Teams have created supports that can be used across regions.  Many of our Alumni are transient.  If you are looking to move regions, please go to this Regional Alumni Contacts Website to find who is the best person is to support you in our regions across the nation.  Please reach out to the contact directly.  If you do not hear back from the regional contact within a week, please email Angela Baker for support (

National TFA Created Career Resources